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Kim’s story – Work & training

Kim has worked with us for nearly two years and is one of our longest-serving customers on the youth employment initiative. She had some work experience in childcare, so was initially upbeat about finding employment, however getting to know Kim, we quickly became aware she had a long-running struggle with her mental health, which affected her confidence and motivation.

When we first began working together, we had many more failed contact attempts than successful ones and Kim spent several appointments with her advisor simply offloading and sharing her anxieties, as she really needed someone to talk to. Although her advisor tried many different approaches to get Kim to engage with a professional, someone who could help her realign her thought process and help her deal with the things that have happened in her life, she wouldn’t agree. And, without Kim’s consent, it felt like there was nothing we could do but watch her repeat the cycle of being positive for a few weeks, before slowly slipping back and disengaging from the service.

Undoubtedly Kim’s advisor began to feel helpless about how best to support her, questioning the effectiveness of the service. Progress was slow, or not at all, and Kim wasn’t feeling optimistic about making progress in the future. However despite her choosing at times to not engage with the service, Kim’s adviser knew she was against a third-party referral, so she continued to try as she didn’t want to leave Kim with no support at all.

As we all know, transformations usually come from within and this is what happened with Kim. Her progress started getting better and it was all very much down to her own desire to make positive changes in her life! We agreed to enroll Kim on an online course in Safeguarding, complementing her existing childcare knowledge and giving her something to focus her motivation on.

Around the same time, Kim’s work coach spoke to her about some upcoming opportunities within Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as a Case Manager. Despite doubting her ability to take on the role, with support and encouragement from us Kim submitted an application, attended the interview, and just like that, she got the job!

We are continuing to support Kim with a new set of clothes for work and her first month’s bus pass, so she doesn’t struggle financially in the transition period of going from benefits to her first pay cheque.

We’re super proud of Kim and know she will be brilliant at interacting with her customers in her new job – especially because she has experienced so much in her own life she will have the innate ability to understand and empathise with other people’s challenging situations. We will continue to support Kim throughout the first six months of her employment, and we’re excited to see where her journey takes her!